Sitters using HO car and liability

I’ve received some good sitters but they don’t have a vehicle. Nowadays the rentals are very expensive. They’ve asked to use my car for local trips. This makes me nervous because of liability or if they got into an accident (esp since there are a lot of deer in the area). How many HOs allow their sitters to use their cars? I believe my insurance covers someone driving but there’s always the deductible, etc. Would prefer not to loan the car but don’t want to lose the sitters. One of the applicants said she’s been able to use a car everywhere she’s sat. Would like to hear from other HO on this subject.

Hi @Elaine1 - you shouldn’t feel pressured to allow sitters to use your car, but as you are aware it may limit the pool of sitters that would be interested.
If you are not happy allowing access just make it clear in your profile and in any conversations you have with potential sitters prior to confirmation. There is no way it should be used as ‘leverage’ (for want of a better word) after you have confirmed.

@Elaine1 there are a few other posts with this information, if you click on the search button, you can read other people’s experiences. For some, it’s quite common to include use of their car, and others would not allow it.

Don’t feel you have to allow use of your car, a lot of sitters have their own car. I think your prospective sitter has been extremely lucky to have use of a car on all of her sits.

Insurance seems to be different from country to country, some insurance covers the car no matter who is driving, and others cover specific drivers

We have done over thirty sits in the UK and have never been offered a car.
However, we have just finished a string of ten sits in New Zealand and Australia. Of the ten, eight offered us a car without us asking - and one of the remaining two agreed after we asked, the final one said it was not available for us to use.


@Elaine1 Yes, there have already been good posts in response to your query. Here’s ours. :wink:

We are both sitters and homeowners. We’d like to comment on your statement that the prospective sitter said that she’s always been allowed use of car. To us, that seems to be pressuring you to conform to her wishes. If you are not comfortable lending your car, don’t do it. We don’t.

As sitters, we have never been offered use of car.

As homeowners, we have no way of knowing what the sitter’s driving habits or record are like. The THS background checks do not, I believe, include driving history. (Moderator, please correct me if wrong about that point.)

As far as insurance, even if your policy allows third parties, how much must you pay? And what about the deductible? If there is a fender bender, how will you get the sitter to pay the deductible? And of course, if they do have a fender bender, the claim stays against your policy and rates will inevitably rise because of it.

So there are quite a bit of things to think through. In our home listing, we state that there is no use of car.

Hi @Elaine1 firstly I just want to say as others have also said, you should never feel pressured to allow the sitters use of your car.

As a sitter perspective we have been given the use of a car both in the UK, (we had our own car but was offered the use of theirs as they had a larger vehicle to accommodate their dogs which we graciously accepted), and whilst we have been sitting internationally.

Also a good point @Colin mentioned, “Insurance seems to be different from country to country, some insurance covers the car no matter who is driving, and others cover specific drivers”.


Yes, that is the issue I’m dealing with - even though my insurance would cover this, there is the matter of the deductible and the rise in the rate. Also, we have so many deer around here and it’s inevitable that at some time or another you end up running into one of them. Although they seem small, they do a lot of damage to a car. That happened to one of my housesitters but luckily (though not for her) it was her car. I was just wondering how common it was that people allowed use of their cars. I have let them use it to take my dog to the local dog park since I figure the sitter might not want my dog in their car. Wish we had better arrangements for transportation, but the fact is that we really don’t.

We don’t allow use of our car eventhough our insurance would cover it. The reason is, that traffic here is very hard and dangerous to navigate, unless you’ve used to it. For the same reason we don’t allow use of our motor bikes either. Just too risky!

Edited to add: But we are lucky to have pretty good public transport options easily available, so it’s not really an issue.

@Elaine1 The only time it would be a required of the HO is if the sit responsibilities necessitate use of a car ( for example walking dogs in a specific park which you need to drive to / or no local options for exercising the dogs ) .

Aside from that it’s entirely optional and certainly not expected.

Again, it’s not required but if a HO is finding it difficult to get a sitter it maybe something to consider offering . Making a car available can be more attractive to a sitter who is coming from overseas or if the public transport links aren’t good .

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